News
February 22, 2013
CARICOM concerned about how Vincentian PM was confronted by British journalists

CARICOM has expressed “grave concern” with the manner in which Prime Minister Gonsalves was reportedly confronted by members of the British media.{{more}}

In a communique issued at the 24th Intersessional Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Haiti, the Heads of State and Government said they received a report from the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines on the manner in which he was reportedly accosted and tackled on an aircraft, and physically impeded by a team of individuals purporting to be members of the British media.

At the time of the incident, Prime Minister Gonsalves, his wife, and Ambassador Ellsworth John were on a LIAT airline en route to the 24th Intersessional Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The Heads expressed their grave concern with the manner in which Prime Minister Gonsalves, a sitting CARICOM Head of Government, was reportedly confronted.

“While fully supportive of the freedom of the press and the vital role played by a free, active and responsible press in governance and development, the Heads emphasised that the dignity of the office of Head of State or Government within CARICOM is equal to that of any other nation, as are the attendant security concerns and expectations. This dignity and security concern of a Head of Government cannot be violated by unidentified representatives of a foreign press service who, for whatever reason, expect a level of access to CARICOM Heads of State or Government that they would not receive from Heads of State in their countries of origin,” the communique said.

The Heads reiterated their individual willingness to be accessible to the media and responsive and forthcoming to reasonable requests from the press. They recommitted to the values of transparency, good governance and the free flow of information, which undergird the free and independent societies of CARICOM.